Bendigo Labor MPs Lisa Chesters, Jacinta Allan & Maree Edwards are paying tribute to a great Australian, Gough Whitlam.
Lisa Chesters MP said that like no other Prime Minister before or since, Gough Whitlam redefined our nation and in doing so he transformed the lives of generations.
“The Whitlam Government should not be measured in years - but in achievements.
“Universal healthcare, ending conscription, land rights, abolishing the death penalty and social welfare reform are amongst the many vital reforms for which he will be remembered.
“Whitlam's reforms and legacy will live on for generations and continue to improve the lives of many. Our country is better and more inclusive because of him.
“I know for many local Labor party members, they became politically active because of Gough Whitlam's 'It's time' campaign or his later Dismissal.” Ms Chesters said.
Jacinta Allan MP said that it was not only a sad day for the Labor movement but also for the community as Gough had a remarkable impact on Australian society.
Ms Allan said Whitlam's legacy was still having an impact, decades after he left office in 1975.
“Gough Whitlam was "a doer", "a reformer". He believed in a fairer and more just society, one where people had access to public education and health. His changes for the better have endured to this day, an incredibly living legacy of his vision.”
"Gough Whitlam inspired each and every member of the Labor party. His imprint looms large over every policy discussion and debate," Ms Allan said.
Maree Edwards said it was Gough Whitlam that inspired her to enter politics as a young girl.
She said one of her most vivid memories was of her four uncles dancing around the living room just after Whitlam was elected prime minister in 1972 and singing his election catch cry, "It's Time".
"The presence of the man and the dignity of the man and what he had to say about social justice and equality really triggered something in my mind," Ms Edwards said.
Gough Whitlam may have passed but his legacy is immortal and will continue to be defended by Labor for generations to come.
There will be a condolence book available in each of the MPs offices for members of the community to acknowledge Mr Whitlam’s contribution to our nation.